Friday, March 08, 2013

Today -100: March 8, 1913: Of legally constituted governments and amnesties


US ambassador to Mexico Henry Wilson telegraphs that “I support the Provisional Government of Gen. Huerta because it is the legally constituted Government, and if it did not exist there would be no government, but chaotic conditions of worse character.” I hope someone asks for his definition of “legally constituted.” Note that the United States has not (spoiler alert: and will not) officially recognized the Huerta Junta.

Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan sends a protest to Cuba about an amnesty law which will liberate political prisoners and, er, every other prisoner, including some not yet tried. The goal seems to be to indemnify members of the Gomez administration, which leaves office in May, against corruption charges. The NYT thinks this amnesty can only mean an American military intervention (they consider an amnesty absurd, but the provision which the US inserted into the Cuban constitution allowing it to invade Cuba at any time for any reason perfectly legitimate).

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